A Legacy of Legacies
"A servant to others..." "A caring and giving person..." "The first to extend a welcome..." These are descriptive words written by friends and colleagues of Sister Mary Cephas Wichman when she retired from Mount Mercy in 2004.
Sister Cephas has been affiliated with Mount Mercy since she arrived on campus with two suitcases in 1949 to begin her life as a junior college student. Following in the footsteps of her aunt, Sister Mary Pierre McAleer, and great aunt, Sister Mary Ildephonse Holland, she joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1950. She served in elementary education for 18 years and as president of the Cedar Rapids Sisters of Mercy for eight years.
She returned to Mount Mercy in 1971 as a trustee, followed by service as alumni director, director of planned giving and vice president for development. She led two major building campaigns, helped build the endowment and established the Heritage Club to recognize individuals who have included Mount Mercy in an estate plan.
Sister Cephas dedicated much of her career to developing relationships and raising support for education, a hallmark of the Sisters of Mercy. She offered guidance to donors who wanted to leave a legacy through an estate plan. Mount Mercy continues to see the fruit of her efforts today. In the last six months alone, Mount Mercy has received three legacy gifts totaling nearly $1 million. These individuals had the joy of initiating plans during their lifetime in order to leave transformational gifts that will fund their priorities in perpetuity. So you see, Sister Cephas created her own "legacy of legacies" that continues to grow the endowment 12 years after her retirement.
She was deeply touched when Mount Mercy established the Sister Mary Cephas Wichman Endowed Scholarship in recognition of her retirement. She responded by saying, "I cannot think of a more meaningful gift. Scholarships—so dear to my heart—will help students reach their educational goals for generations to come!"
As you consider how to distribute the assets you have accumulated through your lifetime of hard work and reflect on what you want your legacy to be, Mount Mercy’s Development and Alumni Relations Office is here to assist. We can serve as a resource on charitable giving and the ways in which a long-term gift can help you achieve your philanthropic goals.
Extend Your Impact
Create your own legacy today and support what matters most to you and your family. Contact Lonna Drewelow at (319) 368-6468 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to maximize your charitable giving at Mount Mercy University.